Mounting a compass on a Kevlar Kayak

Anyone know if the technique for mounting a compass on a kevlar boat is any different than on a fiberglass boat? Any special tools/precautions needed for cutting the hole?

no different
What do you mean by “cutting the hole”? Are you mounting a “70P” size compass in a recess that’s molded into the deck of the kayak? If that’s the case, there’s no “cutting” required. Just set the compass in place, make sure the lubberlines are reasonably straight, fore and aft, and then mark the four mounting holes. Drill with a small (like 3/32 or so) drill bit, and then screw it down with the included screws. Dab some sealant over the exposed screw-tips under the deck, or maybe find some acorn nuts that will fit over them, to protect drybags and stuff from the sharp ends.

Don’t drill at all…
…just use the double-sided patch that comes with most compasses, or that can be bought at most hardware stores. I’ve yet to even have one come loose using these, but it can be removed without damaging the boats surface.

if you cut/drill holes
If you cut into the Kevlar (trade name) or drill holes in it, do not try sanding it smooth. Sanding and Kevlar don’t go together, the fabric is stronger than the sandpaper grit and doesn’t get cut by it, just turns to fuzz.

Bill H.

Good results obtained
with new “pilot bit” drill bits for composites. I know that these are available at the big box stores down to 1/8", but 3/32" might be conventional split-point.

Either way, invest in a new bit. Cheap compared to the laminate of your hull.


If it’s a 70P compass…
…you must drill holes to mount it, as there is no other option.

Those are too big for 70P compasses
You only need a 1/16" bit for the tiny screws that come with them.

Pretty Straightforward
There’s generally nothing special about installing a compass in a kevlar boat versus any other composite, or plastic for that matter.

As others have mentioned, you may want to either apply dabs of epoxy or similar to the sharp ends of the included screws to protect gear inside the hatch, or use stainless steel bolts instead. I elaborate on these details and some other fine points in this compass-installation article:

Feel free to pmail me with any particular questions. Good Luck!